WONDER LAKE – To recoup some police department costs, the Wonder Lake Village Board unanimously implemented an administrative towing fee, its village president said.
The $500 fee was based on what the village has to pay to send the arresting officer to court while keeping the same number of patrol officers on the streets, Village President Tony Topf said.
“We were looking for a way to have the person who is creating the arrest pay for it,” Topf said, adding that if the person is found not guilty, the fee is refunded.
For some small villages such as Wonder Lake, which has a population of just more than 4,000 people, the police department dominates the budget.
Wonder Lake joins a growing number of communities to implement a towing fee for when a driver is arrested in connection with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended or revoked license, an outstanding warrant or other charges where the car is impounded.
Since 2007, when Lake in the Hills became the first McHenry County municipality to add an administrative fee, 15 other police departments in McHenry County have since implemented administrative impoundment fees.
McCullom Lake and Bull Valley – both villages with fewer than 2,000 people – added administrative fees in the past couple of years.
The village of Cary started charging a $500 administrative impound fee earlier this year, and a month later, Spring Grove upped its fee to $350 from $250.
While the village of Wonder Lake had considered charging between $450 and $625, it went with $500, which is what most municipalities charge.
The fee does not include the cost of the tow or any court fees.